44 Commercial Street

 
West End Inn

The West End Inn, an unusually large Greek Revival house at 44 Commercial Street, looks — appealingly — as if it’s almost all windows. According to the proprietors, it was built in the 1840s as a captain’s house. The historic district survey dates it at 1855. Embert Gibbs, a paper hanger and painter (of the utilitarian variety), lived here in the 1930s and 40s. His daughter Adelaide gave piano lessons, so the house must have been filled with music, even if occasionally off-key. Twenty years ago, the house was called the Bed ’n B’fast. It is now the seven-bedroom West End Inn. It describes itself as being owned and run by gay men, mostly for men.

3 thoughts on “44 Commercial Street

  1. My family owned this house from approximately 1953 to 1978. It was sold after the Blizzard of ’78 and the subsequent death of my father. There was a huge mulberry tree in the front yard for most of the time, but it was taken down after parking meters were put in the West End lot. It was a wonderful place to grow up as a child, and I have very fond memories.

  2. My grandparents Bert and Minnie (Williams) Gibbs owned 44 Commercial and lived there from the early 1900’s until Minnie’s death in 1950. They raised three daughters and a son, Adelaide (my mother), Marion and Mildred and their son Roy, a Coast Guardsman, who died at age 18 in the Flu Pandemic of 1918. Bert had a thriving business as a house painter and paper hanger. His real love though was the violin. Often during the summer he and Adelaide would join together for impromptu concerts; Bert on the violin and Adelaide on the piano. Many neighbors and passersby would gather around outside the house to listen as any form of entertainment was scarce in those days(19 -teens and 20’s). Adelaide went on to become a beloved Provincetown piano teacher for about four decades into the 70’s. Her teaching mostly took place just up the street in the “Oldest House,” (72 Commercial) as she had married my father John W. Gregory, the lithographer and photographer in 1934 and they had bought the Oldest House in 1944.
    An interesting tidbit: Minnie rented rooms for a time and one of her guests was Sinclair Lewis.

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